On the Street

Pride in central London

100 Intersex-Inclusive Pride flags proudly return to London

Central London is coming out in celebration of Pride as the Intersex-Inclusive Pride Flag adorns our iconic curve celebrating diversity and inclusivity for the LGBTIQA+ community this June and July.

Pride events in our neighbourhood

The Pride in London parade route will follow the historic from the first 1972 parade, heading down Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus through St James’s to Whitehall. Delve into memories of Pride with our photo gallery with GAY TIMES.

Joining the march on 29 June? Share your photos with us this year at @RegentStreetW1 and @StJamesLondon on Instagram.

A brief introduction to some of the Pride flags

2021: The Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag created by Valentino Vecchietti (she/her) in 2021. Vecchietti’s flag became a global viral sensation.  This is a SOGIESC inclusive flag, representing persons with: diverse sexual orientations; diverse gender identities and expressions, and those with diverse sex characteristics. Diverse sex characteristics refers to the intersex community. Sex characteristics is a new category not previously included in our global Pride flag. Vecchietti’s flag also updated the rainbow stripes to include representation of diverse orientations such as asexual and aromantic.  

This Pride flag respects and includes the intentions of the previous iterations of the Pride flags, and includes representation for black, brown, people of colour, and indigenous populations in the LGBTI+ community. As well as recognising the continued stigma surrounding those living with HIV/AIDS and those we have lost to HIV/AIDS. Vecchietti’s Pride flag reflects the SOGIESC international human rights law: Yogyakarta Principles +10. To learn more visit The Global Inclusive Pride flag website

2018: The Progress Pride flag designed by Daniel Quasar. Building on Hikes’ Philladelphia flag, this flag incorporates the Trans flag, and additionally creates representation for those living with HIV and those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and the surrounding stigma.

2017: The Philadelphia Pride flag. Under the leadership of American civil rights activist Amber Hikes, Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs developed Baker’s original rainbow design with the addition of black and brown stripes creating the Philly Pride flag as part of the More Colour More Pride campaign. The additional stripes represent “black, brown, people of colour, and Indigenous peoples in the LGBTIQA+ community”.

2013: The Intersex Pride flag was designed by Morgan Carpenter. The golden yellow background is a colour that “avoids gender stereotypes”, and the purple hoop “symbolises wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities.” This flag represents those with natural diversity in sex characteristics. Primary sex characteristics are those we are born with and secondary sex characteristics are those we develop at puberty.

1999: The Trans Pride flag was created by Monica Helms. It has five stripes, and three colours, “light blue, the traditional masculine colour… pink the traditional feminine colour… and white for those transitioning or who have neutral or undefined gender.” This flag represents natural diversity in gender identity and expression. Trans is an umbrella term to describe gender identities that does not correspond to sex assignment at birth.

1978: The Rainbow Pride flag created by Gilbert Baker as a symbol for hope and to create visibility. Each colour was given a different meaning: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit. This was later developed into a six stripe flag, and is largely considered to be representative of natural diversity in sexual and romantic orientations.

Q&A with flag designer, Valentino Vecchietti

We sat down with the creator of the Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag, intersex equality campaigner, writer, artist, and founder of Intersex Equality Rights UK, Valentino Vecchietti (she/her), to understand more about why Pride and representation are still so vital.

1. What led you to design the Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag and why are flags important?

The keyword in my Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag is Inclusive.  It is not called a Progress flag.  My Inclusive Pride flag reflects the SOGIESC inclusive international human rights law, Yogyakarta Principle plus 10".

I created intersex inclusion in our global Pride flag because I wanted to bring my community joy, to create greater allyship and support and shine a light on Intersex human rights. Inclusion is important to me, so I also took this opportunity to update the rainbow section in my flag to include diverse orientations such as asexual and aromantic.   

I posted my flag on social media in May 2021, and it became a global, viral, sensation. People all over the world were saying, ‘Yes, we’re here for intersex inclusion’. At the time, my global community were feeling the isolation of lockdown in the global pandemic, and we were struggling to find resources, raise awareness, and gain support. I knew I needed to do something bold to raise intersex visibility, and the Pride flag presented a beautiful cultural symbol of collective celebration, allyship and protest.

2. For those who may not know, what is intersex?

'Intersex' is an umbrella term for natural diversity in sex characteristics. We all have sex characteristics. Our primary sex characteristics are those we are born with; such as chromosomes, internal and external sex organs, and hormones. We develop secondary sex characteristics at puberty. Intersex people have greater diversity in their sex characteristics than is typical.

Sex characteristics are distinct from gender identity and sexual orientation. Those of us with greater diversity in any of these categories comprise the LGBTI+ community. Collectively, we can experience many of the same oppressions in society.

I use the words 'diverse' and 'diversity' to describe our sex characteristics. This diversity occurs naturally and is innate. Intersex people have always existed. We are a very diverse population, there are over 40 distinct diagnoses of intersex variations. 

The international, cultural, symbol that represents us is the Intersex flag created by Morgan Carpenter in 2013. Recent statistics reflect that the intersex population is approximately 3% of the population. Globally, that is 340 million, and in the UK around 2.4 million. However, lack of knowledge of our existence results in lack of inclusion in equality legislation, and so we continue to experience stigma, discrimination, and human rights abuses.”

3. You founded Intersex Equality Rights UK, can you tell us a little more about this?

Intersex Equality Rights is an Intersex-led organisation focused on research, campaigns, advocacy, and consultation.  We support organisations to create inclusive cultures for the all people with diverse sex characteristics. 

Currently, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, abbreviated to SOGIE, is included in the UK Equality Act 2010, but sex characteristics are not. Diverse sex characteristics must be a recognised as a protected characteristic.

4. Please can you tell us more about your global Pride flag work?

The outstanding global support I have received for the Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag is truly an honour. Through my Pride flag, I am working to build a global network of support, which is particularly focused on uplifting the most marginalised in our global SOGIESC communities.  

I created the Global Inclusive Pride flag Project to ensure that the education piece in our Pride flag is recognised, and we promote meaningful actions to create authenticity in Inclusive Pride flag use.  I encourage all Prides and Pride Networks, businesses, cultural organisations, and community groups to join our project’s growing international network.

5. How do you mark Pride month and what does Pride mean to you?

Pride is a time for our global LGBTIQA+ community to come together celebrate and feel the joy of being ourselves, as well as to protest for our human rights.  

The Regent Street flag display has become a vibrant destination point during Pride. Each year, we work together to create the education piece that goes with my Pride flag, through the eye-catching vinyls that are displayed across multiple locations on Regent Street. These are very popular with the LGBTIQA+ community as well as the wider community and allies.  

For me, it is a joy to receive messages and images from people visiting Prides across the globe, who share their support for our LGBTIQA+ community and our global Inclusive Pride flag.   

I’m a lesbian, I was born with an intersex variation, and I am a second-generation immigrant with mixed heritage. Personally, I feel a strong sense of duty to create positive systemic change for our entire global LGBTIQA+ community. Pride Season is a period of intense work for me: I engage with global Prides and Pride networks, cultural organisations, businesses, and governments.  

The LGBTIQA+ community exist 365 days a year and we need to feel safe in our schools, universities, hospitals, places of employment, and in society.

6. What can people do to support your community to feel more included and welcome? Any words to live by or practices to follow?

Welcome us by showing that you are inclusive.  Everyone has a different capacity to create inclusion, and seemingly simple and small actions can often have the longest reach.

Update to inclusive acronyms and initialisms. Place the 'I' after the 'T' for LGBTI+, LGBTIQ+ and LGBTIQA+. Moving the I keeps intersex visible. Internationally, human rights organisations and many countries already place the I after the T to keep intersex human rights visible and included. I believe it is time to internationally standardise placing the I after the T. Remember to also update your hashtags on social media eg. #LGBTI+, #LGBTIQ+ etc.  

Spark a conversation about why you and your organisation have moved the I in your acronyms and initialisms.  Use this change as an opportunity to take the next steps to inclusion.

Visit our website www.IntersexEqualityRights.com to learn how we can support you and your organisation with training and awareness events to create inclusive cultures.

7. We have to ask, what do you love about central London?

I love how international our capital city is. I’m a huge fan of South-Korean fashion and K-pop. My favourite group is BTS, I love the white apparel they wear. I really enjoy walking along Regent Street, window shopping for inspiration, and finding unique ways to express my authentic self through fashion.  I also love hanging out with friends in Central London, visiting the galleries and museums, and enjoying the beautiful green, open, spaces in the heart of our capital city.

About Valentino Vecchietti (she/her)

Valentino Vecchietti (she/her)  is a writer, artist, presenter, and intersex consultant. She is the founder of Intersex Equality Rights, an intersex-led organisation focused on research, campaigns, and advocacy.  Valentino created the Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag, which is now used globally. Valentino’s Global Inclusive Pride flag Project, works globally to create LGBTIQA+ inclusion, representation, and funding.   Her work has been recognised on the Diva Power List, The Pride Power List, The Independent Pride List, and the Lesbian 100 List.

You can follow Valentino on Instagram  and LinkedIn  


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